The Katz Tapes Blog

Elvis Costello (and Burt Bacharach, Part 1)

Elvis Costello (and Burt Bacharach, Part 1)

“I think there’s as much self revelation in “What Is This Thing Called Love” by Cole Porter as there is in any song by Kurt Cobain.”   Elvis Costello is nobody’s idea of Dionne...

David Maxwell

David Maxwell

  “See, I’ve always had this identity crisis, whether or not I was a jazz or blues musician.”                   For decades Boston blues fans could sleep...

Bob Dylan speaks: the MusiCares speech

Bob Dylan speaks: the MusiCares speech

  “A lot of people don’t know this, but the blues, which is an American music, is not what you think it is. It’s a combination of Arabic violins and Strauss waltzes working it...

Scotty Moore

Scotty Moore

“I didn’t get rich, but it was better than picking cotton…”     We can debate who invented rock and roll, but there is no question that it was Elvis Presley who turned it...

Merle Haggard (1999)

Merle Haggard (1999)

“…you’ve got these perfect people performing perfect music and it’s perfectly boring to me.”     At the end of the 1990s, Merle Haggard was one disgruntled country music legend.

Oscar Brown Jr.

Oscar Brown Jr.

“Liberating the slaves is not popular.”                   It’s a mystery: What killed Oscar Brown Jr.’s career? Rule out drugs, booze, out of control ego or any...

Aretha Franklin (1995)

Aretha Franklin (1995)

                      Aretha Franklin hates the new biography about her, “Respect” by David Ritz. She’s condemned it: “a very trashy book…full of lies and more...

Jack Bruce (1993)

Jack Bruce (1993)

“I couldn’t be happier.”             I blew my chance. It only occurred to me today, two weeks after Jack Bruce’s death at age 71 from liver disease, that I...

Billy Joel (1998)

Billy Joel (1998)

“…if I only knew me from “Tell Her About It” and “Uptown Girl” and “Just the Way You Are,” I might not like Billy Joel either.” Not many pop stars are honest or insightful...

“Tracks” by Robyn Davidson

“Tracks” by Robyn Davidson

  Last week I went to see “Tracks.” It’s a new movie, but it took more than 30 years to get made. In June, 1981 I was writing for The Real Paper, the smaller...